Growing in the Prophetic
The prophetic gift can be a challenge to nurture. Like any gift, we must practice to become fluent. The prophetic has the power to change someone’s life – bringing direction, freedom, restoring brokenness and releasing hope. Carrying this power on our tongues brings a responsibility to steward it well and release life. As God has taught me about growing in prophetic maturity, there are some key lessons I have learned:
# 1: Journey with God
To cultivate a prophetic lifestyle, we first need to be worshippers. The biggest journey the Father has for us is to know Him more- we can then communicate his heart for others more deeply and effectively. We must never allow our eagerness for the prophetic to outgrow our passion for His presence.
# 2: Bring others along- Proverbs 27:17
Find friends who you can explore the prophetic with. Ask questions about how each others’ gifts work, and do prophetic exercises together. Why not pick one friend to pray for a day – share your thoughts with them and get feedback?
I remember watching a friend I had been mentoring as they first shared a prophetic word publicly. The word was hugely significant and I couldn’t stop sharing affirmation, having known their journey – It’s such a picture of how the father delights in us when we give things a go. We can freely give what we have received no matter what level we think we are at.
# 3: Pursue opportunities to take risks
It’s so easy to begin to feel over-confident, but we must actively push beyond that comfort zone to develop. I joined the ministry team and travel alongside leaders from our church. Each person I pray for is another opportunity in the prophetic.
My first ministry trip: It was mentioned we’d do some prophetic ministry. Terrified, I commented that I’d had prophetic words before, but never been very specific, picked people from a crowd or prophesied into a situation without knowing the person, but I’d have a go. As the ministry time came, I had nothing, but as I stood, God started showing me things. Everything I had said “I’ve never …” to, I ended up doing! My favourite moment was when God highlighted a man. I shared the word with him. At the end, he showed me an email he had received from a friend who had sent him the same prophetic word, with the same imagery, that morning! When I am tempted to stay fearful, I remind myself of God’s encouragement in that moment.
#4 – Don’t be afraid of making a little mess
It’s easy to fall in the mindset of “What if it’s wrong?”. The true question is “What if it’s right?” These are moments for dreaming big and seeing God’s kingdom – moments where long-forgotten dreams can be reawoken instantaneously.
Bill Johnson writes,
‘Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” Without the ox, who makes a mess, there won’t be increase. If success is measured by a clean stall we create a system that removes risk and avoids discomfort… God is looking for a people whose heart is entirely His, no matter the response of others… There are No Poopless Cows.’
If we choose love and obedience, we can focus on the unchanging affection of the Father that drowns out our mistakes.
Philippa Westwood is part of the TSM wider team and leads one of the courage groups at TSM. She also volunteers in the admin department of TSM.